The Guide to Delta Medallion Status Match

Frequent flyers of competing airlines can achieve Medallion elite status through the Delta Status Match Challenge.
Elina Geller
By Elina Geller 
Updated
Edited by Meg Lee

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If you have airline elite status, you may be eligible for a status match or challenge on another airline. Specifically, Delta Air Lines is allowing loyalists of competing carriers to test Delta’s waters — or skies, shall we say — by offering Medallion status to those who carry non-SkyTeam elite status.

With a Delta status match challenge, you’ll get complimentary equivalent Medallion status for three months and you can extend the status after meeting certain requirements during the three-month grace period.

Here are seven things you need to know before applying for a Delta status match.

How to status match with Delta

1. You need elite status with another airline to participate

The principal eligibility requirement for a Delta status match challenge is to have elite status in a loyalty program with one of 16 non-SkyTeam carriers.

For U.S. domestic airlines, these programs are:

For international carriers, these are:

Elite status with these programs must be earned through the airline’s published requirements. Note: status earned through promotions or other status matches don’t count.

Delta will match valid status with these 16 airlines to its equivalent Silver, Gold or Platinum Medallion status.

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2. You're only eligible once every 3 years

The Delta status match challenge is valid for those who’ve never participated in the match prior, or if more than three years have passed since a prior status match, promotional Medallion status or complimentary Medallion status.

3. Applying for a status match is easy, but be ready to participate

Applying for a status match challenge with Delta is quick and simple. On the enrollment page, simply enter:

  • Your name.

  • Email address.

  • Delta SkyMiles number.

  • The airline in which you currently hold elite status and what that status is.

  • Two current elite credentials. These credentials include a screenshot or image of your elite card — physical or digital — and a monthly statement from the airline proving elite-qualifying activity.

After enrolling, be ready to travel with Delta. You have a period of three months to fulfill a match challenge (more on this in #5). This begins immediately upon being approved through email.

4. Status matches last a minimum of 3 months

Once approved for the status match challenge, you’ll have equivalent Silver, Gold or Platinum Medallion status to your current status level in the other program.

Depending on the status you receive, you’ll be privy to perks like:

  • Bonus SkyMiles earned per dollar spent on Delta flights.

  • Preferred seats and upgrades.

  • Priority boarding.

  • No fees for same-day flight changes.

  • Waived baggage fees.

You’ll also get status with SkyTeam and SkyTeam partner airlines. Notably, those with Gold and Platinum Medallion status will be considered SkyTeam Elite Plus and have access to SkyTeam lounges for international flights.

5. Status can then be extended after meeting certain requirements

While it’s entirely possible to apply for a Delta status match to reap the benefits for one or two upcoming Delta or SkyTeam partner flights, the intent of the Medallion Status Match Challenge is to convert frequent flyers of other airlines into Delta loyalists. So, while enjoying the three-month complimentary trial of Medallion status, travelers have a fast track to keeping their new Delta status longer.

There is only one metric that you’ll need to pay attention to when aiming to successfully earn your status beyond the three months: Medallion Qualifying Dollars (MQDs). If you think a Medallion Qualification Dollar is just a dollar, Delta makes it a little more involved.

MQDs can be earned in a variety of ways, such as:

  • 1 MQD per $1 spent on Delta-marketed flights operated by Delta or one of its airline partners. This includes the fare and airline fees, but not taxes, fees (including government fees), basic economy and similar fares, and insurance purchases.

  • 1 MQD per $10 spent when using the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card or the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card.

  • 1 MQD per $20 spent when using the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card or the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card.

  • 1 MQD per $1 spent when booking travel through Delta Vacations. The calculation  excludes taxes, fees (including government fees), basic economy and similar fares, tips, room service, other booking charges, and insurance purchases.

  • Terms apply.

Depending on the Medallion status Delta grants you, these are the MQD requirements you’ll need to achieve to keep your status beyond the three months:

  • Silver: $1,250 MQDs.

  • Gold: $2,500 MQDs.

  • Platinum: $3,750 MQDs.

So if you have Delta flights coming up and/or hold one of the above-referenced Delta credit cards, successfully completing the challenge could be feasible.

Delta cards for earning MQDs
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
NerdWallet Rating
Apply now

on American Express' website

Rates & Fees
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
NerdWallet Rating
Apply now

on American Express' website

Rates & Fees
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card
NerdWallet Rating
Apply now

on American Express' website

Rates & Fees
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card
NerdWallet Rating
Apply now

on American Express' website

Rates & Fees
Annual fee

$350.

$650.

$350.

$650.

Welcome offer

Earn 85,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.

Earn 95,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $6,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.

Earn 95,000 Bonus Miles after spending $8,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Offer Ends 7/17.

Earn 110,000 Bonus Miles after spending $12,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Offer Ends 7/17.

MQD earn rate

1 MQD per $20 charged to the card. Terms apply.

1 MQD per $10 charged to the card. Terms apply.

1 MQD per $20 charged to the card. Terms apply.

1 MQD per $10 charged to the card. Terms apply.

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6. It’s not possible to elevate your Medallion level during the challenge

It’s important to note that if you happen to go above and beyond the requirements of your status challenge, you can only extend the same Medallion tier as your original match. Let’s say you have United Premier Gold, which grants you Delta Medallion Gold, and you spend more than $2,500 MQDs during the challenge.

Your extension will remain at the Gold tier and not elevate to Platinum. However, if you originally matched United Premier Platinum to Delta Medallion Platinum but only hit the numbers for Delta Gold during the status match, you will maintain Delta Gold status after your initial three months of Platinum.

7. Delta status match resets every July

Delta’s status match runs on an annual basis. So, if you’re aiming for status in the 2025 Medallion Year, you can enroll anytime between now and Dec. 31, 2024. If you are able to successfully complete the status challenge during the three months, will maintain your status through Jan. 31, 2026.

The best course of action is to participate in the status challenge when you feel ready. However, planning your participation near the challenge reset date so as to maximize the number of months with elite status is also not a bad idea.

Is a Delta status match worth it?

Delta’s Medallion Status Match Challenge is a smart way to determine if you want to switch from the perks of your current loyalty program to Delta’s. You can experience the savings and comfort associated with elite Medallion status and fast-track to keep this status through the end of January 2026.

Photo courtesy of Delta Air Lines.

To view rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, see this page.
To view rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, see this page.
To view rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card, see this page.
To view rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, see this page.

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Cards for Delta from our Partners
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